Before Friday’s game against Wolfforth Frenship, Permian boys soccer coach Luis Carmona made a few lineup changes.
Most notably, he moved senior Luis Ibarra from right back to forward to give his team a spark. The move initially paid off, but left the Panthers defense exposed, and the Tigers took advantage.
Wolfforth Frenship downed Permian 4-1 in District 2-6A action at Ratliff’s turf field. Carmona said after the game that each of the Tigers’ goals occurred from a Permian mistake and could have been avoided.
“I think we played well for the first 30 minutes or so, gave up two pretty soft goals I think that we could have avoided,” Carmona said.
The game’s opening goal came from Ibarra 12 minutes in. After putting constant pressure on the Wolfforth Frenship backline, Ibarra was fed a pass from AJ Salcido and chipped it over the hands of Tigers’ goalkeeper Braxton Thorne and into the back of the net.
That proved to be one of the last strong Panther attacks in the game as the Tigers tightened up in the midfield and didn’t let many balls enter their penalty box.
Wolfforth Frenship tied the game in the 30th minute on a Drew Hocutt header. The cross went unchallenged from Permian and Carmona said Hocutt got his head to the ball easier because the Panthers didn’t anticipate it well.
Less than a minute before halftime, Wolfforth Frenship took the lead for good when Permian’s backline didn’t communicate with goalkeeper Carson Roberts and left the net open for Adam Aboo-Hamidi to easily finish his shot.
Permian (9-10-1 overall, 2-4-1-0 district, eight points) continued to let the game slip away after a determined halftime speech from Carmona.
More defensive mistakes left Wolfforth Frenship’s Zach Schubert space to power a ball into the net past Roberts’ dive to give his team a two-goal lead.
Schubert added his second goal of the game with nine minutes to go after the Panthers’ failed to clear a long pass from the Tigers’ midfield.
“I guess that’s the part of the deal with being so young with the freshman,” Carmona said. “We got to keep on coaching them and keep on talking to them. Eventually they’ll come around and they’ll learn that it’s an 80-minute game, it’s not a 30-minute game, it’s not a 25-minute game.”
Permian also had a few offensive chances down the stretch that didn’t hit the back of the net. The Panthers know that has to change from here on out.
“You got to finish, especially when we’re in a playoff push right now … there’s still three games left,” Carmona said. “That’s the important thing that we have to keep on working and we’re still right of the thick of things in the playoffs. We still got three important games and winnable games. We just got to keep our focus.”
For the moment, Permian is clinging to the last playoff spot in District 2-6A, as it’s a point ahead of Odessa High, which plays Amarillo Tascosa at 2 p.m. Saturday at Dick Bivins Stadium.
The Panthers return to action Tuesday night against those same Rebels. Permian has nothing less than three points on their minds for that game.
These kids haven’t gotten favorable results the last three games, but the fight and will is still there,” Carmona said. “Unfortunately right now, we hit that little slump, we just to keep on working — that’s the only way we’re going to get out of it is work, work, work. Nobody is going to give us anything.”
(Overall records in parentheses)
W L SW SL Pts
Midland Lee (13-6-1).. 5 1 0 1 16
Frenship (19-2-0)……… 5 2 0 0 15
Midland High (9-6-2)… 3 1 2 1 14
Permian (9-10-1)……… 2 4 1 0 8
Odessa High (10-10-1) 2 3 0 1 7
Tascosa (1-16-2)…….. 0 6 0 0 0
Wolfforth Frenship 4, Permian 1
Midland Lee 2, Midland High 1
Odessa High at Amarillo Tascosa, 2 p.m.
Standings note: Regulation wins (W) worth three points; shootout wins (SW) worth two points); shootout losses (SL) worth one point;
regulation losses (L) worth zero points.
d-Clinched District 2-6A title
x-Clinched playoff berth